One ‘little’ run can totally change your perspective on things and yesterday evening, it did just that. With just over a week to go now until I take part in my first 10k running challenge at the Great Yorkshire Run, it’s safe to say that I’ve begun to feel a little nervous as this past week has wore on. I didn’t think I would feel quite so affected by these pre-race jitters but they really have been getting to me, so much so that I even had one of those textbook anxious dreams this week when you’re feeling nervous about a forthcoming event. I dreamt that it was race day and I woke up 15 minutes before it was due to set off, so I was panicking that I hadn’t eaten or prepared or anything. I made it to the start line but I don’t know what happened next.
I think the reason I’ve been getting so worked up this week about the race is that I just haven’t been running the longer distances that I’d hoped I would ahead of the big day. I was panicking that I still hadn’t run more than 5k in one go, and when people have been saying to me: “if you can run 5k, you manage 10k”, I just haven’t been able to get my head around that logic. Packing for a rapidly impending house move that has no set date and a ridiculously busy week at work this week didn’t help, either.
But last night, it all changed when I met a friend, who will also be taking part in the Great Yorkshire 10k, for a run around the picturesque Dam Flask in Sheffield. I hadn’t run around there before, even though it’s really close to where I live, and apparently one lap of the dam is just over 5k. We set off, with plans to run round only once, but as we kept on going and chatting about all sorts, the time seemed to fly. As we came to the end of the lap, Sarah looked at me and asked if I wanted to go around again. I didn’t feel as tired – or as sweaty! – as I usually do and although I was tempted to bail, go home and have some dinner, a little voice at the back of my head piped up and said: “You’ve been beating yourself up about this all week, go and make yourself proud” – and so, I half-reluctantly agreed and off we went for a second lap.
Although part-way around the second lap I began to feel weary, I had much more energy than I expected and felt more focused in my head, rather than having that constant repetition of ‘I want to stop, I want to STOP!’ rattling around my brain in time with my strides. It was surprising, I thought I’d simply hate the second lap and not be able to hack it physically, either. Then, as we saw the car come into view, we went for it and when we got there, the sense of elation and ‘Oh my gosh, I actually did 10k for the first time ever!!’ was amazing!
All the way home I was absolutely buzzing, and I have been all day today, just feeling so pleased with myself for achieving something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time but have been telling myself, rather negatively, that I didn’t think I could do. Perhaps I’ve been capable of a 10k for a lot longer than I think, but I’ve just been wasting too much energy on that doubtful little voice inside my head that has been telling me that I can’t. Telling me that I can’t because I’m not a runner, I’m not fit enough, I don’t have the right physique and my boobs are too big (!). Well, yesterday I showed myself that I CAN do it and you know what, I’m feeling pretty proud of myself for this achievement.
Now, I’m still a little bit nervous about next week’s race, and I think that’s normal, but more than anything I’m so excited for the race and can’t wait to get out there on the day.
Bring it on!